Bluegrass Mario Brothers

Miyamoto and MarioBluegrass music may not be associated with video gaming, though I’m sure there are some bluegrass fans and musicians who are also avid gamers. There are some behind the scenes connections that most of the bluegrass world may not be aware of.

25 years ago, in 1985, Nintendo introduced Super Mario Brothers. That game became the biggest selling game ever. What was unique about the game, at the time, was the scrolling screen. It was invented by a fellow named Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto went on to be involved in the creation of other gaming hits such as Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and most recently, he was heavily involved in the design and creation of the Wii. You might say Miyamoto is a gaming legend.

He’s also a musician, and is responsible for the creation of Wii Music. One might wonder what kind of music a video game designer from Japan is into. Surprise!

. . . my particular taste is the American bluegrass music. I think bluegrass music was a great influence upon myself. (source story)

In fact, he credits his years spent attempting to play the banjo as a major influence on the creation of Wii Music.

Wii Music - banjoI think I’m the kind of person who feels that nothing in life goes to waste. And what I mean by that is that no matter how much I might try something, and no matter how much I might fail at it, there’s always something I’m able to learn from that and find a way to take that experience and apply it to something else that I’m doing. The one area of my life where I felt like for a long time I had failed to do that was in playing an instrument. I had practiced and played instruments for many, many years, but despite all of my years of practice, I was never any good at playing instruments. For a long time it puzzled me, and I worried, “Why have I spent so much time on this? And in fact I still am not a good banjo player. But then we finished “Wii Music ” and I look at it and I feel like, finally, all of those years of practice are really what allowed me to create “Wii Music.” (source story)

I wonder how he’s doing with the banjo playing on Wii Music . . .